Telephone Communications:

Cost and Funding Information on Lifeline Telephone Service

RCED-87-189: Published: Sep 1, 1987. Publicly Released: Sep 10, 1987.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) efforts to develop a nationwide lifeline telephone service for low-income households.

GAO found that: (1) in 1985, FCC established a lifeline program to provide financial assistance to qualified low-income households in 15 states and the District of Columbia; (2) to be eligible for the program, households must be welfare recipients and must meet federal poverty income guidelines; (3) states participating in the program offer discounted services such as a monthly allowance for a telephone set and wiring installation, and basic local service; and (4) funding for the program comes from general tax revenues or additional charges on local or toll telephone users.

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